Thursday, October 13, 2011

Congress approves Panama, Colombia and South Korea trade deals

Congress has passed free-trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia, overriding objections from liberal Democrats to advance a key priority for both the White House and congressional leaders. Backers have billed the deals as job generators that will open up major markets to American businesses and level the playing field for workers. The agreements, originally negotiated by the Bush administration, faced firm opposition from labor groups, progressives and lawmakers from the Rust Belt protective of U.S. manufacturers. The South Korea pact passed the House on a 278-151 vote, with more than two-thirds of Democrats voting no. The Panama agreement was approved by a 300-129 vote. Colombia, the most controversial of the deals, passed on a 262-167 vote. Each agreement passed the Senate shortly after with strong majorities.,0,2158136.story

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